<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:37:44 -0700 Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:37:44 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[6 Local Water Districts Fall Short on Conservation]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:56:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/drought+water+sprinkler.JPG

Six San Diego County water districts fell short of the water conservation goals for June -- some by a wide margin -- while 14 others met or exceeded their objectives.

The State Water Resources Control Board released data Thursday to show how each district across California measured up to mandatory conservation targets that took effect in June. Together, the state’s water use dropped 27 percent that month, compared to June 2013. The result exceeded Gov. Jerry Brown’s statewide goal of 25 percent conservation.

However, some local districts have much more conserving to do. The Fallbrook Public Utility District, which had a conservation goal of 36 percent, only dropped its water use by 8.6 percent, compared to 2013 numbers.

The Rainbow Municipal Water District reduced its use by 20.7 percent, though its target was 36 percent, and the San Dieguito Water District fell short of its goal of 28 percent, instead conserving 18.1 percent of its water.

Other misses were smaller. The Carlsbad Municipal Water District was short by 3 percent, the Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District by 2 percent, and the Valley Center Municipal Water District by 2 percent.

Click here to see how your district did.

Local districts not listed by the water control board include Del Mar, South Bay Irrigation, National City and Yuima Municipal Water District.

Across the state, cities and communities must cut their water use by 8 to 36 percent, depending on their water use before Brown declared a drought emergency in 2014.

Seventeen districts in the state fell short of their targets the first month.

The city of San Diego more than exceeded its 16 percent goal, reaching 24.3 percent savings.

<![CDATA[Drug Tunnel Unearthed in Tijuana Near Border]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:15:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tijuana+border+tunnel+0731.JPG

Mexican authorities unearthed an unfinished drug tunnel about two blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border – the third such tunnel discovered in the area this year.

Officials say they received an anonymous tip that someone had started a tunnel inside an import-export business in Tijuana's Colonia Nueva neighborhood. The area is just across the border from Otay Mesa, to the east of the Tijuana airport.

The Mexican Army was seen standing outside the building Thursday night, and they continued to guard it Friday, waiting to obtain a search warrant so they could enter.

No arrests have been made at this point.

Officials would not say how long the tunnel was, but they did confirm it had not crossed into the U.S.

When asked if he feels nervous about the drug activity going on across the border, U.S. resident Adrian Garcia said, "The only thing they are trying to do is bring their stuff inside the United States, and that's it, but I don't think they are like killers or whatever, so I don't feel insecure.”

Authorities won’t let anyone into the tunnel until Monday at the earliest.

In April, two smuggling tunnels were busted in Tijuana.

Nine people were arrested when the first was found on April 7 near the Tijuana airport.

A more sophisticated system that crossed the border was discovered on April 28.

<![CDATA[Advocates Want More Done to Curb Hot Car Deaths ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:20:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/babybackseat.jpg

Child deaths in hot cars are down this year, but that isn’t stopping parents and advocates from looking for long-term solutions to an all-too-familiar tragic situation.

On the eve of National Heatstroke Prevention and Awareness Day, concerned parents from across the nation submitted an open letter to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, asking to end their delay on finding technical solutions that could save lives. 

"This will never bring our children back, but we are committed to helping keep other families complete so they do not have to live with the grief and guilt our families deal with on a daily basis," the letter read.

Eleven children have died after being left in hot cars for too long this year, down from 21 deaths that happened before August 1 of last year, according to NoHeatStroke.org. There were a total of 31 hot car deaths in 2014.

While deaths are down year over year, officials warn that families are not in the clear, with a few warm months still to come.

“We’re going into a very hot month and we don’t know what’s going to happen in August, or September or October,” Kate Carr, president of SAFEKIDS Worldwide said in an interview with NBC Owned Television Stations. “This is important all the time. You have to remain vigilant about this every single month.”

There have been close calls with hot cars recently. The latest to make headlines happened Thursday in a New Jersey parking lot, where a young girl was saved by police after bystanders noticed she had been left in the car while her mother shopped inside.

While some high-tech efforts to prevent the deaths have been introduced, such as a car seat that sounds an alarm when the car is shut off to remind parents of their child sitting in the back seat, activists say they want more from the government officials.

“Look at technology; we’ve heard thousands of ideas, we have an eight inch pile of different patents and at this point we need to get the government on board as well,” said Janette Fennell, founder of KidsandCars.org.

In 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act was passed. But some little has been done in the three years since the creation of the law, which promised car safety research.

"During that period of time, we lost our beautiful little boy, Ben. I can't help but imagine that he would still be alive today if the Department of Transportation had sprung into action when they first learned about this risk over a decade ago," one parent, Lindsey Rogers-Seitz, said in the letter.

Officials recommend keeping a shoe, purse, or other important item in the back seat of the car, or keeping a stuffed animal in the front seat as ways to remember children in the vehicle. They add it’s important to remember this can happen to everyone, and take the necessary precautions.

“As hard as we educate and they educate, they say 'It’s not going to happen to me,'” Fennell said. “Ninety percent of the time it happens to the best parents. It’s not bad people.”  

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Rips Through City Heights Apartment]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:14:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/City-Heights-Fire-0801.jpg

Five residents were displaced Saturday morning after a fire broke out at a building in City Heights that houses several businesses and an apartment, fire officials said.

The blaze sparked around 5:50 a.m. at an L-shaped building in the 4200 block of El Cajon Boulevard near Copeland Avenue. The building contains several businesses and the rear unit on the Copeland Avenue side has been converted into an apartment, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) said.

When firefighters arrived, they could see flames shooting from the windows and roof of the apartment. With an aggressive attack, 30 fire personnel were able to knock out the fire within 20 minutes, officials said.

Lee Swanson of the SDFD said firefighters were able to confine the blaze to the apartment, which sustained heavy damage. Officials said the Red Cross is helping the five adults who live there find temporary housing.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Swanson said surrounding businesses suffered some smoke damage. For now, damage is estimated at $500,000 to the building and $100,000 to the contents.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the incident is under investigation.

Photo Credit: Diana Guevara]]>
<![CDATA[Woman, 77, Hit by Fleeing DUI Suspect]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:58:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LJ-Hit-Run-0731.jpg

A 77-year-old woman walking in a La Jolla neighborhood was injured Friday night when a suspected drunk driver hit her in a crosswalk and then fled the scene, police confirmed.

The San Diego Police Department said the woman was walking in a crosswalk in the 6400 block of La Jolla Boulevard around 11:45 p.m. when a 60-year-old man in a Ford Expedition struck her.

At first, he pulled over.

However, a short time later, the man – suspected of driving under the influence – fled the scene, leaving the injured woman lying in the street.

The victim suffered a broken pelvis and other non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

The police department said officers were able to find the hit-and-run suspect after the crash and he was positively identified as the man behind the wheel.

He was arrested for felony DUI and felony hit-and-run, police said. His name was not released. No one else was harmed.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Small Brush Fire Burns on Palomar Mountain]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:04:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fire_truck_generic_wavy.jpg

A small brush fire sparked on Palomar Mountain Saturday morning, sending smoke into the air visible from State Route 79.

Fire crews arrived to attack the vegetation fire just before 10:50 a.m. The site is not easily accessible by foot, so officials have requested assistance from air tankers.

NBC 7 viewers reported seeing smoke near State Park Road.

No evacuations have been ordered and no structures are threatened at this time.

As of 6 p.m., the fire was 80 percent surrounded.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kit Carson Park Fire Sends Smoke Above I-15]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:15:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Fire-Truck-Generic.jpg

Firefighters quickly put out an Escondido brush fire at Kit Carson Park early Sunday evening, officials said. 

Smoke from the fire could be seen from Interstate 15.

The fire burned half an acre before it was put out. 

No structures were threatened. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands in Israel Rally After Gay Pride Parade Stabbing]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:12:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ss-150730-jerusalem-gay-pride-stabbing-mn-01.nbcnews-ux-1024-900-%281%29.jpg

Thousands of Israelis attended demonstrations across the country on Saturday, two days after an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man allegedly stabbed six people at Jerusalem's gay pride parade, leaving one teenager in critical condition.

Large rallies were held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and other smaller events elsewhere throughout the country where numerous speakers warned of dire consequences for Israeli society unless authorities take firmer action to root out homophobia.

In a pre-recorded video address intended for the demonstrators, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack was aimed "at all our children."

Photo Credit: Kobi Schutz / Reuters]]>
<![CDATA[Animals Light up Empire State Bldg.]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:51:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-482696586.jpg

The landmark Empire State Building, known for its stunning light displays, shined brightly with digital light projections of the world’s endangered species Saturday evening. The show was billed as a first-of-its-kind live video projection and aimed to raise awareness about animals at risk of being lost forever.

The display, a project conceived by “The Cove” filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, showed a looping reel of endangered animals over a 33-floor span of the southern face of the Empire State Building. In all, 160 species were shown, including a snow leopard, golden lion tamarin, birds, snakes, manta rays, and various mammals and sea creatures.

"We're set to lose half the species on the planet by the end of the century," Psihoyos said at the event.

At one point an image of Cecil -- a beloved lion in Zimbabwe that was shot and killed by a U.S. dentist during an allegedly illegal hunt in July -- was shown on the building. The killing sparked off a social media firestorm and led to calls for the hunter's extradition. Coincidentally, the uproar gained international attention just days before the light show.

"There's only 3,500 wild male lions out there. The gun lobby keeps them from being on the list but they are endangered," Psihoyos said. "Cecil -- I mean what a -- at least there are other lions left. I've photographed some species where it's the last male of a species, like the Rabbs' Fringe-limbed tree frog."

The song "One Candle" played as the projections glowed on the iconic midtown building.

"What bigger candle could you light up?" Psihoyos said. "Look at it -- it looks like a candle." 

The images were displayed using 40 20,000-lumen projectors stacked on the roof of a building on West 31st Street.

The projections, which started at 9 p.m., were set to last for three hours. They were clearly visible to anyone within 20 blocks downtown of the Empire State Building. Below 14th Street, they were visible, but not as clearly. 

Psihoyos’s Oceanic Preservation Society, in collaboration with Travis Threlkel’s Obscura Digital, have been producing the elaborate light shows for four years to draw attention to the rapid rate at which species are dying out.

Photo Credit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Tweets to NASA Astronaut if He Ever 'Freaks Out']]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:00:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_830814691512.jpg

The last person astronaut Scott Kelly expected to get a message from while spending a year in the International Space Station is the president of the United States. 

"Hey @stationCDRKelly, loving the photos. Do you ever look out the window and just freak out?," the president tweeted from his personal Twitter account, @POTUS.

Kelly started the one-year science experiment in March, where he is studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight. While Kelly's 342-day stint doesn't break the record of Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent 438 days on the Mir space station, it is the longest an American has spent in space. 

It also marks the first time that scientists will compare an astronaut's health while space-traveling compared to his identical twin, Mark Kelly, on Earth over the course of the next year, according to NBC News. The Kelly brothers are the first siblings to have both traveled to in space, a NASA bio read. 

Kelly responded to the president's tweet:

"I don't freak out about anything, Mr. President. Except getting a Twitter question from you."

The astronaut has been frequently tweeting about his experience in space by answering questions from people on Twitter, posting photos of sunsets along with selfies and providing updates from the station. 

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<![CDATA[Dogs Ride Through San Diego Waves on Surfboards ]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:12:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/petco+surfing+dog+13.jpg Dogs rode on surfboards Saturday morning, coasting through the Imperial Beach waves to reach the San Diego shore. The event was hosted by Unleashed by Petco and professional surfer Taylor Knox was one of the judges.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[GI Film Festival Visits San Diego for First Time]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:46:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/320*120/KAJAKI+The+True+Story+-+Film+Still+3.jpg

“Sundance for the Troops” is on its way to San Diego.

The GI Film Festival, which starts October 13, will make its first trip to San Diego this year.

The festival, hosted annually in Washington, DC, is now in its tenth year. It will feature movies about and by servicemen and women, and finish with a film showcase highlighting San Diego filmmakers, actors, and locations. Local filmmakers interested in submitting for the showcase can read the requirements here.

“We are excited to partner with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego on this project,” said KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo in a release. “We are all organizations that value great storytelling. KPBS looks forward to showcasing some amazing films. I am confident filmgoers will come away having learned something new and with a deeper appreciation for our service members and the sacrifices they make.”

The six-day festival, hosted by KPBS in collaboration with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego, will exhibit a wide variety of cinema including, dramas, documentaries, shorts, and personal narratives.

”We are so grateful to KPBS and Film Consortium San Diego for bringing the GI Film Festival to a city with such a rich military tradition,” said GIFF Co-founder Laura Law-Millett in a release. “As a US Army Veteran and West Point graduate, I especially appreciate the unique power that film lends to the all-important mission of connecting service-members to society at large. In support of this vision, the GI Film Festival San Diego will feature films which lend insight into the singular experience of military life by exploring universal topics of loss, healing, courage, and transformation.”

Most of the festival events will be open to the public with a discount for military personnel. More information can be found on KPBS’ GI Film Festival page.

Photo Credit: GI Film Group]]>
<![CDATA[Man Drowns After Bar Fight ]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:11:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bridgeport+Chubbys+drowning+1200.jpg

A man drowned in the creek behind a restaurant on the Bridgeport/Fairfield line after a fight broke out early morning on Saturday.

The Bridgeport fire department recovered one of two people who fell in Ash Creek behind Chubby's Bar & Grill after they were involved in an altercation there. Police have not released his name. The other person who fell in fled the scene.

Bridgeport police and fire and American Medical Response were called to the scene at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday. Police received a call about a fight at the restaurant.

Two people fell in the water behind the bar and grill during the course of their fight and one has not been located, Brett Broesder, spokesperson for the city of Bridgeport, said.

The Gathering of the Vibes concert is being held this weekend in Bridgeport, but the bar fight and drowning are not connected, Broesder said. 

Police don't believe any weapons were involved in the fight.

The incident remains under investigation. Police ask anyone with information to call the Bridgeport department at 203-576-1311.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Lollapalooza Attendees in Hospital]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:12:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/doctor-health-generic-1200-02.jpg

At least 27 people were sent to hospitals on Day One of Lollapalooza due to alcohol- and heat-related causes.

Rush University Medical Center reported nine hospitalizations of festival-goers. All patients have been treated and released.

Mercy Hospital and Medical Center reports 18 patients from Lollapalooza. Sixteen of them have been treated and released, and two were admitted.

Hospital officials say the patients were suffering from illnesses related to alcohol consumption and heat.

Additionally, 85 people have been treated by EMS workers, according to a spokesperson at the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Seven people have been arrested and 35 citations have been issued so far, authorities said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CA National Parks Have Worst Air Quality in Nation: Report]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 19:24:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/yosemite-old-040915.jpg

Four California National Parks rank among some of the worst for air quality in the nation, according to a new report card released by a conservation group Tuesday.

Despite overall progress in the quality of air across the nation’s national parks, places where millions of families travel to escape the city air, hazy and polluted air continued to plague the skies, especially during the summer season, according to the report by the National Parks Conservation Assn.

Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park all received ‘F’ grades for their ozone levels and low scores for air visibility.

The California parks were among some of the most harmed by air pollution, according to the report’s list of top 12 parks affected by pollution.

All 12 parks on the list earned a ‘D’ in either the ‘healthy air’, ‘seeing clearly’, or ‘changing climates’ categories. Because of the hazy air, visitors often miss out on up to 50 miles of scenery.

For at least one month a year, visitors to the four California parks breathe air that is unhealthy for most visitors and rangers, the report found. The California parks were the only ones in the top 12 to receive ‘F’ grades for air quality.

“The overwhelming evidence reveals air that is cleaner but not yet clean,” according to the report.

But cleaning up the air pollution could take hundreds of years at the current pace of change, researchers said, citing loopholes in current legislation and climate change.

Nearly all parks are undergoing some degree of warming, researchers found in their report.

More than 80 percent of the temperatures in those parks are considered “extremely hot” compared to the last 112 years. Thirty percent of those parks have reached the highest temperatures they have seen on record, researchers found, and if those temperatures continue to rise, they will be climbing into uncharted territory.

To ameliorate the problem, researchers suggested allowing parks to set their own air quality targets, closing loopholes in current regulations, strengthening accountability and allowing park managers to play a greater role in creating and advancing plans.

Nine California national parks were named in the full list of 48 parks affected by air pollution.

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<![CDATA[Officer Indicted for Fatal Traffic Stop Seen in Heated 2014 Exchange]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:43:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_795920167579.jpg

A video shows the University of Cincinnati cop charged with fatally shooting Samuel Dubose, an unarmed black driver, involved in another contentious exchange during a 2014 traffic stop.

 Office Ray Tensing, who was indicted for murder Wednesday, appears to be in a video captured by a passenger in a car pulled over by campus officials, said a university spokeswoman.

Since the video does not belong to the university, the spokeswoman could not definitely confirm that one of the officers was Tensing. 

The passenger, Demetrius Pace, 27, told NBC News that he filmed the heated May 2014 stop after they were pulled over for the car's dragging bumper.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Seau's Family To Speak At Hall Of Fame After All]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:47:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Junior+Seau+Foundation+family.jpg

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has had a change of heart. Sydney Seau, the daughter of late Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, will in fact be allowed to speak on behalf of her father at the 2015 induction on August 8.

The Hall of Fame was not going to let Junior's family talk at the ceremony, citing a policy it put in place in 2011 that individuals elected to the HOF posthumously would have a longer video presentation but no live speakers. They say it was designed to shorten an already long event.

However, they never anticipated an icon who passed away in the prime of his life would be in this situation. So, instead of allowing Sydney to give a formal speech, she will be interviewed on stage after all the Seau children unveil Junior's bronze bust. The six and a half minute video presentation about Junior's life and career will still be seen in its entirety.

In an interview with Fox Sports, Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker explained why they made the decision.

"Our goal was to try and keep our policy but also show some compassion and understanding," said Baker. "(Sydney) will have the opportunity to say whatever she wants to say but we will still maintain our policy."

The NFL and the HOF feared Sydney would use her platform as an arena to discuss traumatic brain injury, something the Seau family (who is involved in a lawsuit against the National Football League) has been outspoken about. Sydney has said multiple times she has no plans to politicize this event. She plans to simply honor her father.

Thankfully she will have the opportunity to do just that.

Photo Credit: Junior Seau Foundation Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Weddle’s Jewelry Line Helps Domestic Violence Victims]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:55:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/2015-Weddle-Jewelry-9.jpg

The San Diego Chargers’ bearded safety Eric Weddle is once again trying his hand at jewelry design with a Bolts-themed line in support of victims of domestic violence.

Last fall, Weddle launched a “Game Day” jewelry collection for women, with a portion of proceeds from sales benefitting battered women charities.

Now, after a successful first year with the project, Weddle will launch new jewelry designs for his 2015 line, which will benefit Alliance for HOPE, an organization that provides vital resources to survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Weddle created the jewelry line in collaboration with Evolution Lighthouse, a San Diego-based jewelry and accessories company that works with partner charities to raise awareness and funds for causes in the community.

Evolution Lighthouse founder Patrick Pickford said Weddle worked closely with lead designer and
company co-founder Gerly Noland to create his newest designs.

“Our lead designer runs all ideas by myself and Eric. We pick our favorites. Who knew men could pick out stylish jewelry?” Pickford said.

For Weddle, the project carries a lot of weight.

“It is important for people like myself to use their voice constructively and stand up for what is right. It is vital to ensure that victims of domestic violence and their children can escape a vicious cycle. I am happy to help in any way possible,” Weddle told NBC 7.

Weddle says his favorite part of the jewelry line process is seeing the fans wearing the final product.

“This is a representation of their support for victims of domestic violence and their support for their favorite team,” said Weddle. “[It’s] the best kind of win/win.”

The line – which boasts more than 20 items – includes sterling silver and gold-filled necklaces, earrings and bracelets ranging in price from $20 to $80.

Some pieces feature lightning bolt charms, as well as charms that say “Weddle” and “San Diego.”
There is also a pair of tassel earrings in Chargers colors -- one blue, one gold.

Pickford said their team is working on incorporating Weddle’s famous beard into a jewelry design in the future.

“It will be interesting to see what we come up with,” he told NBC 7. “Currently, we personalize most of the pieces so you can make it your own. You can put ‘San Diego,’ ‘Weddle,’ or pretty much anything else you like.”

Weddle’s public support for battered victims via this jewelry line first began last year amid the NFL’s high-profile domestic violence scandal involving several players in the league, including Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.

“Eric has been my friend for a number of years and when domestic violence took over the NFL headlines last year, we immediately started talking about what should be done and what could be done,” Pickford explained. “It was a great opportunity for us to team together on something meaningful.”

Though Pickford said Weddle and women’s jewelry line may seem like an unlikely match, it’s a perfect match in the end.

“Every single item will go to benefit victims of domestic violence. Eric is donating every cent right to
the cause," Pickford told NBC 7. “And he wants every fan to know, ‘Hey let's support this cause and let's do it right.’

To browse the full "Game Day" jewelry collection, click here.

Photo Credit: Evolution Lighthouse]]>
<![CDATA[Man Documents His Weight Loss]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:02:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/kenneth+yoder+transformation.JPG

When Chicago documentary-maker Kenneth Yoder first began his fitness transformation on the cusp of his 40th birthday, he weighed 175 pounds with 24 percent body fat.

"I was rocking a pretty solid 'S' curve. That's belly, you know what I mean?" Yoder said.

Now, just four months later, he weights 160 pounds with 10 percent body fat. Yoder lost a total of 15 pounds, but he added a whopping 10 pounds of solid muscle.

Yoder embarked on this journey as part of a documentary project about what it takes to transform into a fitness model. The upcoming documentary stars Yoder himself as the main character.

"If I was going to invest all this time making a film, I didn't want to just do it with someone I didn't know, so I was like, 'it's gotta be me,'" Yoder said.

The end goal for Yoder, besides the documentary itself, was to compete in the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Inc. bodybuilding competition July 18 at the Harris Theater, which he did with sound success.

But how did Yoder make such a striking transformation in so short a time?

Over the course of the four-month challenge, Yoder ate six carefully planned, protein-packed meals each day as well as took part in boot camps on how to pose properly and workouts that left him in agony.

Chicago trainer Dusten Nelson oversaw Yoder's grueling diet and workout plans, and he made him stick to it throughout the transformation period. But despite the support of a trainer, Yoder experienced several low points along the way, including ending up on his knees in the bathroom in the middle of workouts.

After all the hard work, however, Yoder said he feels like he added years to his life.

"I'm going to live longer. I feel that way!" he said.

Yoder said the key to overcoming all of the struggles along the way was support from his wife, from Nelson and from the other Chicagoans who were training for the bodybuilding competition, too.

Now that the competition is over, Yoder said he will keep some of the habits he developed during the training period, such as packing nutritious meals to-go instead of buying unhealthy food.

"There's so many things you learn that you just kind of can't unlearn about how to eat and how to approach challenges with positivity," Yoder said.

From here, Yoder's plan is to tell the story of his journey in an in-depth documentary called "Poser."

<![CDATA[Violent 1978 Cold Case Haunts Survivor]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:08:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/James-Alt-0731.jpg

A man who survived a brutal attack on a San Diego beach in 1978 as his girlfriend was murdered and mutilated says the cold case continues to haunt him, and he wants answers.

“Survivor’s guilt is something I struggle with every day,” James Alt told NBC 7.

On Aug. 13, 1978, Alt – 17 years old at the time – and his girlfriend, Barbara Nantais, 15, were sleeping on the sand at Torrey Pines State Beach when they were attacked by an unknown suspect or suspects.

Alt suffered a severe head wound that left him semi-conscious with no recollection of the assault. Nantais was beaten and strangled to death, raped and one of her breasts was severed.

The teenager’s killer was never found and, to this day, the murder remains unsolved.

Nearly 37 years later, Alt lives with depression and post-traumatic stress caused by the incident. He said the pain of not knowing who killed Nantais or why weighs heavy on him.

Alt carries a titanium plate in his forehead. His skull was crushed with a rock and fire log during the 1978 attack.

“That same person tried to kill me,” he said. “They did a really good job of trying, but guess what, I am living breathing and right here.”

After all these years with no arrests in the cold case, Alt says he wants the San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) Cold Case Unit to hand over the investigation to another law enforcement agency.

Alt and members of the Nantais family are scheduled to meet with cold case detectives later this month.

He said he doesn't expect to hear much new information about the case, but has plenty to say about the investigation of his case and recent developments in the 1984 murder of another San Diego teen, Claire Hough.

Hough, 14, was beaten and murdered on the very same stretch of beach as Nantais’ slaying. Similarities in both cases have suggested the killings could’ve been committed by the same perpetrator.

Last fall, San Diego police said they found DNA from Hough's body matching that of police lab technician Kevin Brown.

“I was excited, scared obviously, and just optimistically hopeful,” Alt said, referring to the break in Hough’s cold case.

Police said they were preparing a warrant for Brown’s arrest in connection with Hough’s murder before Brown hung himself Oct. 21, 2014.

Alt said the developments in Hough’s case only wound up adding to his frustration.

“I want proof. I want evidence. I'm not going to take your word for it. Show me what the District Attorney was going to hold this person for,” Alt said.

Alt fears whatever evidence police have against Brown will be buried with him.

Investigators told NBC 7 Brown could not be connected to the Nantais murder. Brown's widow has filed complaints against the SDPD and the City of San Diego to clear Brown's name.

Meanwhile, Alt insists he wants his case in other hands.

“I want them to let go of my case. They haven’t done anything in 37 years. What, are we going to hold them another 37? No sir,” Alt told NBC 7.

In 2013, SDPD Lt. Ernie Herbert told NBC 7 Nantais’ case was being reviewed once more, as there had been huge advances in DNA technology. Detectives planned to re-interview witnesses and use new, high-tech science in hopes of generating new leads on the case that still remains cold.

On Thursday, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis spoke with NBC 7 about the relentless work of the SDPD's Cold Case Unit. Since its formation in 2003, Dumanis said the unit has solved and prosecuted 35 cold cases.
This includes a recent arrest in the murder of Damon Green, a San Diego man gunned down at a doughnut shop in 2007.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[Suitcase Found on Reunion Island to Be DNA Tested]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 14:34:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_156629859433.jpg

Technicians will look for DNA on a suitcase fragment found on Reunion Island, the French territory where plane debris possibly connected to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 washed up, officials say.

The National Gendarmerie Press office confirmed to NBC News that the suitcase piece was sent to the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie in Pointoise, northwest of Paris, where technicians will attempt to extract DNA to see if it matches any samples collected from the families of passengers who disappeared on MH370.

The suitcase remnants were found Thursday, one day after a piece of aircraft was recovered on the shoreline of Reunion, which lies about 560 miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

<![CDATA[Joe Biden Considering 2016 Presidential Run: Reports]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 14:21:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_552811691356.jpg

Vice President Joe Biden, inspired in part by his late son, has been holding meetings at his Washington home to discuss challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Biden has said publicly he would make a decision at the end of the summer but the Times said the vice president and his associates were actively exploring getting in the race.

The Times, citing several people who have spoken with him and his advisers, said the Biden camp was contacting Democratic leaders and donors who have not firmly committed to Clinton, the clear leader among the five Democrats who have entered the race, or might be concerned about her prospects. 

<![CDATA[Chula Vista PD Confirmed Wounds Self-Inflicted]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 14:53:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

Chula Vista Police were investigating a dead body on the 200 block of Bay Boulevard. 

The call came in at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday, police said. When medics arrived on scene, they were asked to stand back.

As of 2:50 p.m., police confirmed the wounds were self-inflicted. 

No further information was immediately available. 

<![CDATA[Meth Pills Were in In-n-Out Drink, Man Claims in Lawsuit]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 13:27:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/168*120/innoutmeth.jpg

In-n-Out Burger has been sued by a man who alleges he found meth in the bottom of his drink, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. 

The incident allegedly occurred on the night of March 9, 2014, when Fred Maldonado, of Carlsbad, ordered a burger and drink from a Southern California In-n-Out. An executive for the restaurant chain has called the claim "baseless."

Maldonado then returned to his nearby motel, where he drank half the beverage and went to sleep. When he awoke the next morning, he emptied the rest of the drink and allegedly found two pills and a napkin at the bottom of the cup, according to the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

When Maldonado returned the cup and its contents to the In-n-Out location, located at 8767 Firestone Blvd. in Downey, the manager apologized and offered him a gift certificate for a free burger, according to the lawsuit.

Though Maldonado was unaware of what the blue gelatin capsules were at the time, later testing found that they contained methamphetamine, according to toxicology findings from last August submitted by Maldonado's lawyer, G. Patrick Connors III. The napkin and the cup both tested negative for methamphetamine in a test conducted by Utica Toxicology Service.

"The beverage served by defendants to plaintiff was not clean, wholesome, and free from harmful or injurious foreign substances but instead, unknown to plaintiff, contained hazardous and unhealthful foreign substances, namely two capsules of methampetamine and a napkin that was unfit for human consumption," the lawsuit stated.

A picture of the capsules and napkin allegedly found in the drink were provided by Connors.

Maldonado did not ingest the pills, but did suffer nausea and serious injuries to his health, as well as mental distress, as a result of consuming the drink, according to his lawyer.

In-n-Out has denied the allegations.

“At In-N-Out Burger, we have always served the freshest, highest quality burgers, fries, and drinks and customer safety is one of our highest priorities. We will vigorously defend these baseless claims. Due to the fact that this matter involves ongoing litigation, we will unfortunately not be able to comment any further,” In-n-Out Executive Vice-President Arnie Wensinger said.

Maldonado has sued for unspecified damages.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of G. Patrick Connors III]]>
<![CDATA[1 Killed in Encinitas Crash]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 12:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Encinitas-Fatal-Ax-0801.jpg

One person was killed in a crash on Interstate 5 in Encinitas early Saturday, prompting officials to temporarily shut down traffic on the freeway.

The deadly collision happened just after 3 a.m. near Encinitas Boulevard. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said two cars collided, with one vehicle rear-ended at highway speeds, leaving the car totaled.

Both cars came to rest in the middle of the lanes, debris from the crash strewn all over the freeway.

The CHP shut down all lanes for about 30 minutes following the accident.

The driver of the car that was rear-ended was killed in the collision. The condition of the driver in the second vehicle is unknown.

The crash is under investigation. Officials have not determined whether alcohol was involved.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Moon Lights Up San Diego Sky]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 12:55:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Annie+Durkin+Rancho+Penasquitos+2.jpg Across California, people looked up and spotted a "once in a blue moon."

Photo Credit: Annie Durkin]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Hit, Killed by Swerving Driver]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:52:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bonsall-MC-Fatal.jpg

A motorcyclist was struck and killed by a swerving driver in the North County overnight, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said.

The deadly crash happened just after midnight on West Lilac Road and Via Giannelli.

For unknown reasons, the driver of a white car swerved off the road, plowed into a tree and hit a motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist died at the scene, CHP officials said. The driver of the car was taken to Palomar Hospital with unspecified injuries.

The crash is under investigation. Officials have not yet determined whether alcohol contributed to the collision.

The name of the motorcyclist was not immediately released.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Conservation Group Fears Cecil the Lion's 'Brother' Killed]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 13:48:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150801-jericho-cecil-lion-brother-02-0316p-%281%29.jpg

The brother of a famed lion that was killed by an American dentist in early July was feared dead after a conservation group said it had been fatally shot.

"It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed" at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. ET), the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said in a statement on Facebook.

But there was a conflicting report from another local wildlife organization that said that Jericho did not appear to be killed. Brent Stapelkamp, with the SATIB Conservation Trust's Hwange Lion Research, said that the creature's GPS was sending a signal and the lion appeared to be alive, according to Reuters.

Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Unit, which studied Cecil, said it was trying to get information about Jericho.

"We are seeking to clarify conflicting reports," an Oxford spokeswoman told NBC News via email.

NBC News has not independently confirmed the killing or that the lions were brothers. The Associated Press previously said that Cecil "befriended" Jericho, and the two lions cared for two prides together.

The announcement follows an international outcry stemming from an American hunter's killing of Cecil, a lion that was allegedly lured out of a national park.

Zimbabwean authorities say the hunt was illegal and are seeking the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer.

Photo Credit: Rex Features via AP Images
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<![CDATA[Suspect Surrenders to SWAT Team in Chula Vista]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:24:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula+vista+shooting+0731.jpg

A SWAT team arrested a suspected shooter who refused to come out of his Chula Vista condo after witnesses say he shot at a building, police say.

The incident started at 4:02 p.m., when officers got a report that a man was shooting into a home in the 1500 block of Oleander Avenue. Witnesses told officials that the shooter had an AR-15 type of weapon.

"I was sitting in the front yard, and a bunch of gunshots went off. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, really loud," said Suzi Schutzman, who lives about five doors down. No one inside the home was injured, according to Chula Vista Police Capt. Vern Sallee.

The suspect then returned to his condo in the 1500 block of Brandywine Avenue, which sits near Olympic Parkway.

Officers shut down eastbound Olympic Parkway at I-805 as they called in a SWAT team and crisis negotiators. 

Family members were in the condo with the suspect, but they left before police arrived. They later told officers the man was suicidal, alone in the home with a rifle and pistol, Sallee said.

A negotiator was able to get the man on the phone, and after a half an hour, the negotiator talked the suspect into surrendering.

At 6:20 p.m., he was taken into custody.

Schutzman told NBC 7 she rushed over to the damaged house to see if anyone was injured. She saw a woman badly shaken up.

"The windows were shot, the upstairs of the house was shot. Big holes, big holes, and then bullet casings all over their driveway," said Schutzman.

She was relieved to find no one hurt.

Another neighbor who spoke to those inside the home said the victim knows the alleged shooter and considers him a friend.

A motive for the shooting has not been released.

Photo Credit: Tam Ngo]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor Admits to Sexually Assaulting Patients ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:09:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Doctor-Jeffrey-Abrams-11102.jpg

A San Diego-area doctor has admitted he sexually assaulted female patients and took photos of their naked bodies while they were treated at the only free health care clinic in the East County.

Jeffrey Joel Abrams, 68, pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person, three counts of sexual battery and one count of possession of child pornography, involving pictures of an 8-year-old girl, according to Deputy District Attorney Kerry Conway.

At his September sentencing, Abrams could face probation to more than 25 years in prison.

Eight victims were seen by Abrams at the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) free clinic in El Cajon between June 1, 2010, and June 2014.

When Abrams was arrested in November, investigators claimed to have found more than a thousand photos of women’s vaginas, breasts and buttocks on his work phone.

There was also a video of a patient touching herself in the exam room with Abrams, a search warrant alleged.

Attorney Jessica Pride, who represents victims in the case, sent NBC 7 this statement: 

"My clients are happy that their voices were heard and that they were able to make a difference. They are thankful that justice was served."

Abrams’ medical license has been temporarily suspended by the State Medical Board, and he has been ordered to surrender his passport.

A lawsuit was filed by five women who were patients to the clinic VIM in El Cajon.

One of the plaintiffs in the case said that she initially went to the clinic to get a referral to a psychologist and a therapy group. Another woman requested a fertility specialist to help her conceive. A third woman said she went to VIM for a rash on her hand.

All say they were instructed by Abrams to remove their clothes so they could receive a vaginal exam. In some cases, the women were given rectal exams.

<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Waving Fake Gun in Gaslamp: PD ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:54:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DOWNTOWN-MAN-GUN-073115.jpg

A man waving a gun in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter prompted police to shut down several city blocks during the lunch hour Friday, before they realized the gun was a fake.

The man was spotted near 5th Avenue and F Street in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter just before 1 p.m.

The man walking down 5th Avenue pointed a gun at witness John Carmichael. A U.S. Navy employee, Carmichael told NBC 7 he could tell immediately that it was fake.

"To me, he was kind of joking so it didn't bother me too much," said Carmichael. "He pointed it at me, I put my hands up and he just walked away. It was pretty odd." 

The man with the gun then walked into the Tipsy Crow bar, giving everyone inside a scare.

Kitchen worker David Nelson was told by his boss to take cover.

"I took a knife and went into the office and locked it because he already said there was a cop situation," said Nelson. "So I had no idea what was going on. I was freaked out for sure."

Several patrol cars blocked foot and vehicle traffic in about a one-block radius.

Approximately 30 minutes later, the man was in custody. Officers confirmed the man was carrying a replica gun that had been spray painted to look real.

The bar was searched and nothing was found, police said.

No one was injured.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Hit by Car in Tijuana Receives Care in SD]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:14:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Kiwi+dog+0731-PIC_0.jpg

A dog that witnesses said was run over by a police vehicle in Tijuana was rescued and taken to San Diego on Friday for treatment.

The 2-year-old Bichon pup named Kiwi is undergoing medical treatment and should make a full recovery, thanks to the local rescue group Bichon Furkids.

Witnesses said Kiwi was left to die on the side of a road in Tijuana for three days. A woman who works as an independent dog rescuer stopped to tend to Kiwi and rushed him to a veterinarian in Mexico.

But since Kiwi needs ongoing treatment, therapy and blood transfusions because he’s anemic, Bichon Furkids intervened.

Headed by San Diego resident Marti Colwell, the group crossed the border to bring Kiwi to San Diego.

“We worked together – rescue groups do this all the time – but we crossed the border in order to provide the kind of love and care and medical care that he needs so that he can make a full recovery,” she said.

Colwell expects Kiwi to be good as new in three to four months.

“He’s about 2 years old, so he has a long life ahead of him,” she said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Local Man Accused of Posing as Modeling Agent for Sex]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:51:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Maverick+Rosales+web+img-PIC_0.jpg

A local man has been accused of posing as a modeling agent to lure women to take nude photographs and then threatening to share the photos online if they didn’t perform sex acts, San Diego County prosecutors said Friday.

Maverick Mendez Rosales, 24, pleaded not guilty to extortion, two counts of oral copulation by duress, one count of rape by duress and sexual battery. He was ordered to be held on $300,000 bail.

Prosecutors said they’ve filed felony charges against Rosales, who is accused of running a fictitious modeling agency for years.

He allegedly had two young women pose for photos – and then later threatened to release the photos on the Internet or to the women’s families if they didn’t perform sex acts or pay him money, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Rosales solicited the women using sites such as Craigslist and Facebook. One of the women was extorted for her nude photos for two years, said Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle.

Doyle said the investigation is ongoing.

"We have reason to believe there are additional victims," he said.

If convicted of charges, Rosales could face 13 years in prison.

Anyone who believes they could have been a victim of Rosales are asked to call District Attorney Investigator Nancy Dodd at 619-615-6864.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Stargazers Can Spot "Blue Moon" Friday Night]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:14:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/moon-GettyImages-169149710.jpg

Tonight, look skyward for a “once in a blue moon” experience.

Stargazers can catch the “Blue Moon,” which last appeared in August 2012. The moon won’t actually have a blue hue; in astronomical terms a blue moon denotes the second full moon in a month with two full moons.

Blue moons are rare – they only happen once every two to three years -- so the saying “once in a blue moon” rings true.

A moon that actually appears blue is an even rarer sight. It can look blue when the atmosphere is filled with dust or smoke particles, like what happens after a dust storm, forest fire or volcanic eruption.

NASA explains more on the history of the "Blue Moon" in a video released this month.

In San Diego, the moon peaked early Friday -- at about 3:43 a.m --- and will appear again at 8:06 p.m.

Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NAACP 'Journey for Justice' March]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 09:12:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477234954.jpg

Fifty years later, the scene from Selma's Bloody Sunday march still leaves a dark stain on United States history. Four months from its anniversary commemoration, the NAACP says the march for voting rights is not yet finished.

As Congress prepares to go back into session, thousands are expected to put their feet to the pavement this summer to join the NAACP in "America's Journey for Justice" to demand federal protection of civil rights for all Americans.

The march will kick off Saturday at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the setting for Selma's Bloody Sunday, and will culminate in a rally at the nation's Capitol where they plan to shout: "Our lives, our votes, our jobs, our schools matter."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Islanders Flock to 'Special' Beach After Debris Find]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 09:24:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150801-plage-de-colosse-0827a_cd2cd41245c8888c3962725a19e1bf69.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

The rocky shoreline where the first possible debris from Flight MH370 was found has captured the imagination of local residents, some of whom wandered in search of more pieces Saturday, NBC News reported.

Bottles and plastic waste are a common feature of the stony Plage de Colosse, which lies on the east coast of this island paradise, facing the currents of the Indian Ocean.

"It's incredible," said Jean-Renee Lativel, a realtor who turned beachcomber for the day in the hope of finding something from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777. "This is could be such an important and special place now, especially for all those families. It could be the denouement of this long drama."

The airplane part arrived in France on Saturday, but investigators in France are not expected to begin examining the debris until Wednesday. However, there are already many here that are convinced that their coastline has finally unlocked the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane — and the whereabouts of the 239 people on board.

Photo Credit: Alastair Jamieson / NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Construction Crew Hits Water Main, Businesses Lose Service]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:11:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/water-main-construction-073115_2.jpg

A block of downtown businesses were without water after a private contractor struck a water service line Friday morning.

The incident happened along 6th Avenue and J Street where a new hotel is under construction.

San Diego City Public Utilities crews responded and shut down water main so the two-inch pipe could be repaired.

It may take about 4 hours to repair.